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What is the most 'up-to-date' number of known fungi species?
    #2384093 - 02/27/04 06:31 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

So here is the problem. I have checked a lot of different books, encyclopedias and internet resources on this matter, but the different answers confuse me. The numbers vary between about 35,000 and somewhat twice as much or more. Yes, I know that loads of fungi are yet to be discovered, but isn't there some kind of "The official fungi register"? :smile:

  Thank You in advance.


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Re: What is the most 'up-to-date' number of known fungi species? [Re: ivi]
    #2384250 - 02/27/04 06:57 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Well I can vouch for 191 psychedelic psilocybian species worldwide.

There are hundreds of thousands of fungi all over the world. In fact, the earth is one big parasetic fungus.


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Re: What is the most 'up-to-date' number of known fungi spec [Re: ivi]
    #2384313 - 02/27/04 07:14 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

No, there is no single, official source.

The professional mycologists still debate continuously about things like whether or not certain genera should exist and what mushrooms belong in them. There are lots of species of mushrooms that are actually a previously discovered and named species, but the person discovering the new one didn't know about the previous discovery or felt for various reasons that their discovery was something new.

Some of this comes about when some mycologist publishes a reorganization of some group of mushrooms, and not everybody accepts it. Then we get whole different taxonomic trees, depending on the author.

An example that relates to a lot of people who read and post to this board is the genus Copelandia. Not all professional mycologists accept the genus. So, depending on whose writings you're reading, they may be referred to as Copelandia or Panaeolus. And that is a relatively simple example.

One of the results is that most mushrooms have several synonymous names. The better authors will list several names for a species after the one they want to use. Those are all various names used previously in the literature for the same mushroom species, and the lists are rarely complete.

Over the last ten or so years techniques from Molecular Biology using the DNA from the mushrooms have started to be used to try and resolve some of these issues. I would be surprised if everything were resoved within my lifetime. And I personally have doubts that comparing DNA fragments will ever resolve some of them.

Even if the use of DNA technology were to resolve all issues about taxonomy, it would be surprising if the professionals could all agree on a place, method, or people to run any sort of Official Fungi Register".

Incidentally, the number I last heard was more like 90,000 species of mushrooms as an estimate of how many there actually were, and a cataloged number around half that, 40,000 to 45,000. Depending on where you live, the percentage of species known to how many there are probably ranges from around 70 or 80 percent and down. For Colorado, where I live, we currently esitmate that we've got about 30 to 35 percent of the species cataloged.

Happy mushrooming!

Happy mushrooming!

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